Tag: Georgia

My Airbnb Bucket List: North America Edition

My Airbnb Bucket List: North America Edition

On The Big Bang Theory, Dr. Sheldon Cooper once said, “If there were a list of things that make me more comfortable, lists would be on the top of that list.” I identified with this statement so much! I love to make lists almost as much as I enjoy crossing things off of them. And to those who know me, it should come as no surprise that I have an Airbnb Bucket List — places that I want to someday stay. I thought I would share part of it with you, and maybe you’ll be inspired to start your own Airbnb list.

There are seven properties from North America on my Airbnb Bucket List. Most of these I just happened to find as I was looking for potential vacation destinations, and thought they were so ideal I saved them even though I ended up going someplace different.

Underground Hygge – Orondo, Washington, USA

My Airbnb Bucket List

Hygge is a Danish word that means cozy, charming, or special. This Airbnb property in Orondo, Washington surely is all of those things! If you have ever wondered what it must be like to live in a Hobbit hole, this is your chance to find out. Located on a mountainside in the Columbia River Gorge, the view from the round front door is amazing:

My Airbnb Bucket List - view from the Hobbit Hold in Orondo WA

But I need more than just a charming exterior in a getaway. (Especially when it costs $400/night!) I want to have an experience. And with the charming, earthy furnishings and decor of this hobbit hole, I’m sure I would do just that. Nearly everything in this Airbnb property is made of wood, for a super-rustic and natural feeling — even the bathroom!

Bathroom at the hobbit hole that's on my Airbnb Bucket List

Average price: $400/night.

Little Luxe Retreat – Oceanside Oregon, USA

I have this insane need to see water. I don’t need to get in it (truth be told, I never did learn how to swim) but I just take comfort in knowing that it’s nearby. There’s something about seeing the movement of the water and hearing the sounds of the waves and seagulls that puts my soul at peace. And while this renovated 1947 cabin doesn’t have a huge wow factor from the street, that all changes when you go inside and step out onto the balcony.

Spectacular views from this little cabin on my Airbnb Bucket List

Like mountains? It’s a beautiful view. Like beaches? It’s a beautiful view. And just off of the wraparound deck is a gated patio with a private hot tub:

Hot tub with a view of the ocean at the Oregon cabin on my Airbnb wish list.

The description of the property says that the bed is positioned perfectly so you can wake up to ocean views that can be seen through the doorway. Can you imagine any lovelier way to start the day? I can’t.

Average price: $137/night.

Secluded In-Town Treehouse – Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Airbnb Bucket List - Secluded Treehouse in Atlanta Georgia

I’m not the only one who has this property on their Airbnb Bucket List – it’s Airbnb’s #1 most wish-listed property in the world! If you ever wanted to have a sleepover in a treehouse when you were a kid, this place could be your dream come true.

It consists of three separate rooms connected by rope bridges among lush green trees… hard to believe they’re in Atlanta! One room is a deck with a hammock, one is a sitting room, and the third is a bedroom. You may want to check the forecast or average temps before booking, though, as the rooms are semi-open to the elements and do not have air conditioning or heat. A private bathroom is available but it is in a separate building (the hosts’ home nearby).

Average price: $389/night.

Stunning Bark Point Home on Superior’s South Shore – Herbster, Wisconsin, USA

This uniquely designed home is the perfect getaway to enjoy nature. It’s located right on Lake Superior and boasts amenities like a patio with built in fire pit.

Airbnb Bucket List - this Lake Superior home in Wisconsin is one of my must stays.

What’s more, it boasts 300 feet of private shoreline, and stunning views of the lake all year round:

Airbnb Bucket list - view from bark point retreat

There are a few caveats for anyone booking this property, however. First, it books four to six months in advance, so you have to plan ahead a bit if you want to stay here. Second, the floor plan is very open, and bedrooms do not have the traditional four walls and a door. But if you’re into sunsets on the lake, don’t let that deter you.

Average price: $199/night.

Alfie the A-Frame, Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada

You gotta love a house that is named Alfie, right? And it’s just as cute as you might imagine it to be.

Airbnb bucket list a-frame in british columbia canada

I will confess, I have had a fascination with A-frame houses ever since I was a kid playing with my Fisher Price Little People A-frame playset. So I’m a bit biased. But this one almost looks boat shaped, and I think that makes me love it even more. It’s just so stinkin’ cute!

But even better, look at this view from Alfie’s upstairs bedroom:

And if that isn’t enough, step out onto the adjoining balcony for an even better view:

I don’t think I would ever want to leave!

Average price: $109/night.

The Lighthouse Ocotal, Del Coco Beach, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Airbnb Bucket List - a Costa Rican lighthouse

The Lighthouse itself has one bedroom and a small living area and bathroom. The main house next door has two additional master bedrooms a smaller bedroom, a kitchen, and a living room.  But the best part of this property is its stunning patio with infinity pool and views of the Pacific Ocean.

Airbnb Bucket List - Costa Rica lighthouse with infinity pool and views of the Pacific Ocean.

Yep, I can’t help but picture myself in some long, flowy robe standing there with a glass of wine, gazing wistfully out at the sea…

Average price: $320/night.

Waves and sand sunset paradise – Aguada, Puerto Rico

This property’s owner says it best: “JUST IMAGINE: Sitting on the balcony enjoying a cup of coffee while you see the sunset reflected on the ocean, getting up and sleeping with the beautiful sound of the waves. This beautiful beach front apartment is a truly dream come true. It’s literally steps from the beach with private stairs to give you access.”

My Airbnb Bucket List - gaze out at the water from the balcony of this property in Puerto Rico.

Those steps on the right hand side of the picture take you right down to the beach. And once you’ve finished your beach time, come back to relax on a lovely open air daybed swing.

I don’t often spend vacation time relaxing. Usually because I want to see all the sights and do all the things, but here? Here I would be all about relaxing and doing not much of anything at all.

Average price: just $75/night!

Setting Up Your Own Airbnb Bucket List

You can create your own wish list in Airbnb. When you find a property you like, click on the red heart to save it. When prompted for a name, you can call it Bucket List or whatever you want. (Mine is called “I Want to Stay Here”.)

I’m always looking for more places to add to my Airbnb Bucket List. Have you ever had an Airbnb property catch your eye and make you dream of staying there? Let me know about it in the comments!

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3 Must-Visit Attractions in Smyrna Georgia this Summer

3 Must-Visit Attractions in Smyrna Georgia this Summer

Summer Attractions in Smyrna Georgia

Situated 20 miles northwest of Atlanta, Smyrna is a vibrant suburb that has some of the best attractions in Georgia. Each summer, Smyrna hosts visitors from around the country who come to the city for its restaurants, bars, and activities. If you’re searching for an unforgettable experience, take a trip to the city for these must-visit attractions.

SunTrust Park

Attractions in Smyrna Georgia - SunTrust Park in Smyrna is home to the Atlanta Braves.
Image via Flickr by Counse

Built in 2017, SunTrust Park is Major League Baseball’s newest stadium and the home of the legendary Atlanta Braves. Constructed on a budget of $672 million, this state-of-the-art facility is more than just a venue for baseball; it offers a fan experience unlike any other. Monument Garden is the highlight of these attractions, honoring the Braves’ greatest players and the organization with audio, water, and light elements. The gems of the collection include the Braves’ World Series trophy, a statue of Hank Aaron, and authentic uniforms worn by the team from 1871 to present day.

The team has 81 home games per year, so if you’re visiting, check the schedule to see if your favorite team is in town. Whether you’re enjoying a weekend with friends or family, you can enjoy several hotel options in Smyrna that put you right near all the action for a three- or four-game home stand.

Six Flags Over Georgia

If you’re into thrill rides, family fun, or relief from the Georgia heat, you’ll find it all at Six Flags Over Georgia. Located just 10 miles outside of Smyrna, Six Flags features over 40 thrill rides, 10 roller coasters, a water park, arcades, games, and more spread out over 290 acres. Thrillseekers will love the Goliath and the Mind Bender, which both earned a Golden Ticket Award from Amusement Today magazine. The world’s first floorless freefall tower ride, Acrophobia, is another heart-pounding option that’s sure to make your senses freak.

On hot summer days, you might want to forego the rides in favor of the Hurricane Harbor Water Park. Covering 7 acres, the water park has four premier rides, a wave pool, slides, a water playground for kids, and more. When you’re trying to beat the heat, there’s no better choice around Smryna.

The Battery

Even if you’re not into baseball, a trip to SunTrust Park is still worth the visit. Surrounding the park, The Battery is an upscale development offering some of the finest dining, entertainment, and shopping in the Atlanta area. The Roxy Theatre is one of the most exciting venues, offering 4,000 fans the chance to see some of the best local, regional, and national artists on the main stage.

After the concert, hop over to the PBR Bar and Grill, the Terrapin, or Wahlburgers for some grub and an ice-cold beer that provides a brief respite from the summer heat. Once you’re recharged, check out some of the clothing stores or pick up a souvenir at the Mizuno Experience or Braves Clubhouse Store.

Like the summer heat, the attractions in Smyrna never seem to stop. Take advantage of the most exciting time of the year by seeing all this suburb has to offer.

Disclosures:
This post has been brought to you by Hotel Planner.
Header Image of jonquils via Flickr by Percita
Baseball cap header image via Flickr by GlobalGoodNetworks
Header image of roller coaster via Flickr by Amy Loves Yah

Must See Attractions in Smyrna Georgia - Travelasmuch.com
Travel with Oscar 2017: The Filming Locations of the Best Picture Nominees

Travel with Oscar 2017: The Filming Locations of the Best Picture Nominees

This year, nine motion pictures are under consideration for the Best Picture Academy Award. And while everyone is guessing who might win, I thought it might be more fun for a travel geek like me to explore the places featured in those films.

Arrival

Arrival stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. It is the story of a linguistics professor who must interpret the language of the alien visitors when twelve mysterious spacecraft suddenly appear around the world.

The events of the movie supposedly take place in Montana. However, the film was shot entirely in the Canadian province of Quebec. In particular, most of the Montana scenery was actually Bas-Saint-Laurent.

arrival-bas-saint-laurent best picture filming locations
Those egg-like UFOs were hovering over Quebec, not Montana.

The Bas-Saint-Laurent region is actually closer to New York than Montana. From the banks of the St. Lawrence River to the Highlands, the region features a diverse blend of maritime, lakeside, farming and forest landscapes. Visitors flock to the region for its villages, islands, lighthouses, national parks and marine mammals, as well as the many things to do there. It is also a popular destination for snowmobiling in the winter months.

Fences

Next is Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. It is the story of a working class African-American father raising his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.

Fences was filmed primarily in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1957 an African-American photojournalist named Charles “Teenie” Harris had taken many photos of the area. These photos inspired actor/director Denzel Washington, who tried to capture the same feeling in the film.

fences pittsburgh best picture filming locations
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in Fences.

A small brick house at 809 Anaheim Street in the Hill District served as the setting for many of the film’s scenes.

Hacksaw Ridge

Starring Andrew Garfield and directed by Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge tells the true story of WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa. As a conscientious objector for religious reasons, Doss refused to kill. He became the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

Hacksaw Ridge utilized multiple locations in Australia for its scenes. One of those locations was Richmond, a semi-rural town in New South Wales. The town is about an hour outside of Sydney, and it has a population of less than 6000 people. I’m sure that having Mel Gibson and his film crew there caused quite a commotion!

hacksaw-ridge-in-richmond-nsw best picture filming locations
Period signage and vehicles transformed Richmond, New South Wales into small town America in the 1940s.

Many historic buildings line the streets of Richmond, so the town served as the perfect setting for some of the non-war scenes in Hacksaw Ridge. A two-hour walking tour of the town will highlight thirty points of interest.

Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water, starring Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges, is the story of a divorced father and his ex-con older brother.The men resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas. But guess what? Texas was actually New Mexico.

Much of the film’s shooting took place in Clovis, New Mexico. A burger joint and two banks located on North Main Street in Clovis featured in key scenes. Elsewhere in the film, you will see the Blue Ribbon Bar & Grill, where rangers waited for the robbers to slip up. The restaurant is in Estancia and it is now closed.  Finally, the Caprock Escarpment also features pominently in the film.

caprock_escarpment-hell or high water best picture filming locations
The Caprock Escarpment, the geographical transition point between the level high plains and the rolling terrain

To get the same sweeping view of it that was in the movie, drive along New Mexico’s Route 156.

Hidden Figures

In Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P Henson and Octavia Spencer, we learn the true story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program. The story takes place in Virginia, but the film locations were in Georgia.

Monroe Georgia courthouse hidden figures best picture filming locations
The courthouse in Monroe, Georgia

Specifically, the town of Monroe, Georgia served as the town where the main characters lived and worked.  Director Ted Melfi said that, “Monroe offered us a great backdrop for the film: from the historic courthouse, to the quaint streets lining downtown, to an old schoolhouse we converted…Monroe was perfect in every way.”

La La Land

The favorite to win the Best Picture Award, La La Land, starred Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. It’s the story of a jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, but it’s a musical, not a romantic comedy.

Most of the locations for this film were in Los Angeles or other locations in California. The Lighthouse Café, a nightclub located at 30 Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach, was one of the film’s settings.

la la land lighthouse cafe best picture filming locations
Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone outside The Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach, CA

The Lighthouse Cafe has been active as a jazz showcase since 1949 and, under the name “The Lighthouse”, was one of the central West Coast jazz clubs from the 1950s through the late 1970s. It continues to feature live music today.

Lion

Starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, Lion tells the true story of a five-year-old Indian boy who gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia.  Then, 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

The film utilized many locations in both India and Australia.  In one early scene, the boy plays cricket on the beach with his adoptive parents. That scene was filmed in Marion Bay, Tasmania:

Lion best picture filming locations marion bay tasmania
Cricket on the shore of Marion Bay, Tasmania, in Lion

It’s hard to see in the photo above, but this uncrowded bay, with Cape Hauy as its backdrop, is stunning. It becomes much more crowded on New Year’s Eve, however, as it is the site of the Falls Music and Arts Festival. Locals say that the surf is great, as are the nearby vineyards, and the turquoise waters and pristine white sands.

Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea stars Casey Affleck as an uncle who must take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies. The primary setting of both the story and the film is Manchester-by-the-Sea, in Massachusetts.

Manchester-by-the-Sea is a typical small New England town, with rugged shorelines and scenic beaches. Off in the distance, in Massachusetts Bay, is Bakers Island. This island, and the Bakers Island Light Station upon it, are the island and lighthouse seen from Joe’s boat in the movie.

manchester-by-the-sea-bakers-island best picture filming locations
Bakers Island & the Bakers Island Light Station in Massachusetts Bay

You can take a boat tours to the island to explore.  Special events planned for the future include an overnight visit to the lighthouse. (I think this is the prettiest of the best picture filming locations!)

Moonlight

The final contender for Best Picture is Moonlight, starring Mahershala Ali. It is a story of self-discovery, chronicling the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.

And, just like the story, the movie was actually filmed in and around Miami. The characters Black and Kevin spend one scene in a typical American diner.

moonlight_jimmys_eastside_diner best picture filming locations

That’s Jimmy’s Eastside Diner, located at 7201 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami, Florida. Jimmy’s serves amazingly huge omelets, banana pancakes, and burgers and fries. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area (and hungry!).

So, that’s our list of the Best Picture filming locations. Have you been to any of them?